Becoming a drifter/vagabond, but is it possible?

Mister Sinister (@MisterSinister) 8 years, 2 months ago

Fellow Hethens, I need your thoughts and advice.

The last couple of years I’ve been through a lot. Dealing with depression, a shitty domestic situation, just pretty much a shitstorm of negativity. Coming out of all that has led me to reevaluate myself, my life and what I want to do. Add to that an eye-opening acid trip and I’ve made my mind up.

Being a creative kid turned creative young adult I’ve always had an urge to explore, learn, meet new people and seeing things from different perspectives. As I mentioned, after reevaluating my situation I’ve thoroughly entertained the idea to drift around for a while. And that idea is something I’ve now decided to act on. I’m planning to do the whole “living out of a suitcase”-thingy where you travel along from town to town without any destination.

It’s the journey that’s excites me and not necessarily where I’ll end up. Taking temporary jobs here and there, Couchsurfing and relying on the good-will of people. I’m saving up some money at the moment, but the urge to leave is gnawing at me and growing by each passing day. I NEED to leave as soon as possible, so I’ve planned to do that when I’ve saved up about 700-800$.

The one thing that’s spreading doubt is whether or not it’s actually possible to go through with something like this in this day and age. Hitchhiking, drifting and all that seems like an extinct possibility.

I’m not planning on doing this for the rest of my days, but maybe half a year or so. It’s something I need at this point in my life. So what do you think? Is it possible to see some countries and roam around here in Europe for a couple of months starting out with 700-800$ or is it just wishful thinking? Do I need to save up more or is my romanticized image of the vagabond lifestyle accurate?

September 19, 2013 at 10:31 am
Zykanthos (4,757)M (@chodebalm) 8 years, 2 months ago ago

You’re gonna need more than $700-$800 if you wanna go to Europe, that’s for sure. That won’t even cover your plane ticket. Also keep in mind that 1 Euro equals about 3/4 of the American dollar on average. So your money isn’t going to be worth as much over there. I can’t speak about vagabonding or drifting, because I’ve never done it, but I’ve traveled to innumerable places around Europe and other parts of the world, and I can assure you that you’re gonna need more money than you realize, otherwise you’ll end up not being able to buy food, change or wash your clothes, etc.

Filip (2,818)M (@filipek) 8 years, 2 months ago ago

@mistersinister, I must agree with Zykanthos on this, 800 dollar will give you a one way ticket but that will be all. Try your luck in Asia, you can live in South East Asian countries for a few bucks a day

Mister Sinister (7) (@MisterSinister) 8 years, 2 months ago ago

@chodebalm, I’m already in Europe, I live in Sweden to be more precise. I only wrote in dollars so that y’all could understand since I’m pretty sure you don’t keep tabs on how the Swedish currency is doing! ;)

Zykanthos (4,757)M (@chodebalm) 8 years, 2 months ago ago

@mistersinister, Lol! Gotcha. Well, good luck in your endeavors, sir. =)

Conner J. (1,558) (@connerj93) 8 years, 2 months ago ago

@mistersinister, To be a drifter I think takes some serious discipline, if not knowledge about surviving that way. I’ve always wanted to do the same, and just wander around the globe camping, hunting, and traveling. In my experiences in Asia, you can live off of a few bucks a day. Hotel rooms if need be for backpackers are a mere 7-8 bucks a night, and a plate of food is a mere 2-3 bucks depending on where you are. It won’t be easy living that is for sure, but worth the experience. Try not to get stuck without a way back, otherwise it would be one hell of an adventure. You can always find people who are willing to help travelers, but I believe its more difficult than it looks in theory.

Filip (2,818)M (@filipek) 8 years, 2 months ago ago

@mistersinister, Hmm, it depends what you want to do, but I guess you can get quite far with 500 euros, as long as you depend on people their goodwill for sleeping and eating, you only need your money for plain tickets. You could do it hitchiking though, dependent on how adventurous you are.

In fact, it all depends on you whether or not you will make it.

Fernando (68) (@fercgomes) 8 years, 2 months ago ago

@mistersinister, If you play any instrument, you can prepare some sort of public show, and play on the streets, a lot of people do that, they travel around Europe, the money they get, they use to eat and everything. It is wise to go to small cities, because in the major cities people are very used to street musicians so they don’t care too much.

Jason (68) (@jasonmctw) 8 years, 2 months ago ago

@mistersinister, its strange that when you starting thinking about things, things start to happen I am also in a similar situation iv been recommend to read:

apparently its quite good I haven’t read it yet.

Im planing on setting off before summer next year I havent decided where yet. Do you have plans on where you want to go? I know its the journey that is important not the destination. but its nice to have somewhere to aim for.

Mister Sinister (7) (@MisterSinister) 8 years, 2 months ago ago

@connerj93, I’m not really setting off on a Bear Grylls-surviving-on-the-wilderness-thing or backpacking. Just looking to get through some European countries.

, That was some very useful tips that I’ll keep in mind, thanks!

, Hmm.. the website has “money grabbing” written all over it, plus the whole idea of having a guide for vagabonding kind of defeats its purpose.

But yeah, I’ve sketched out a plan which is to save money until April/May next year, so I can sleep outside (in safe places mind you) if I have to without having to worry about freezing to death (it will get that cold up here in the North during the winter months). I want to see some of my own country too before I leave the borders.

By then I’ll also have enough money to travel for quite a while too. The thing is that I don’t know if I’ll be able to wait until then though. Like I said before, the urge to set off grows every day.

I’d like to see the big European countries like France, Germany, Spain but also smaller ones like Poland. I can’t really plan until I know how much money I’ll have. Although I don’t want the traveling to be too comfortable either. I’d love to walk for hours, hitchhike, sleep outside and hike instead of just taking a train everywhere and only stay at hotels and hostels. I want it to be a challenge as well as an experience!

Obviously, you’re not a golfer (605) (@donjaime23) 8 years, 2 months ago ago

Being a drifter isn’t really possible anymore…not like it was back in the depression era when those old-timey hobos kind of romanticized the whole “living by your wits” thing. Nowadays, I dont think people are so willing to open their doors to hobos. My guess is one of two things will happen at some point along your travels:

1. You’ll get picked up by the cops after sketching someone out.
2. You’ll get mugged by thugs and robbed of everything.

ozeba2u (4) (@ozeba2u) 8 years, 2 months ago ago

you can try Woofing or check into rainbow family gatherings. couch surfing is great! I have been a driter/vagabond and homeless at times on and off for 13 years. this is how i met amazing people that are doing the same thing. I would work and save 1500.00-3000.00 US dollars and then hit the road. this would last about 8-10 months before i needed to work again. work 4-5 months and start again on the road. there is so much peace in living like this. I am female, now 29 years old and have hitch-hiked over 80,000 miles in 3 countries with no real problems. 2 times out of countless rides did i find a weirdo, but never was i in danger. i just asked them to stop and got out of the car. one guy insisted to give me a ride, but he was a creepy creep, so i started banging my head on the window and drooling. with crazy people; you just have to prove that you are more crazy and they want to get the hell away from you! ;) I will always hitch-hike and encourage others to do so as well. Even did a solo trip from Alaska to Mexico and back to Alaska one winter. always had a tent, stove and fuel as well as a sleeping bag.

Tine (366) (@tine) 8 years, 2 months ago ago


“y’all” … lol, more language understanding syntax? =)

Anonymous (127) (@) 8 years, 2 months ago ago

Do you really need someone else to tell you what is and isn’t possible?

alephant (61) (@maanskyn) 8 years, 2 months ago ago

@mistersinister, <– this is a bloody good site for inspiration

Money is doing it's job if it keeps you from going, so don't let it

who? (19) (@srhhrkr) 8 years, 2 months ago ago

It’s possible. I’ve known a couple people that live some type of gypsy-style life….don’t let the lack of money deter you.

Heed them, HEthen (91) (@heedthem) 8 years, 2 months ago ago

@mistersinister, My only suggestion is to try and stick to places that speak English first

onelovechange (440) (@jakefloria) 8 years, 2 months ago ago

Hell yea it’s possible, at least for awhile. I haven’t done it YET but am in the same boat as you. I live in America and after college, I’m going for it. I was mainly inspired by Chris McCandless from “Into the Wild”, where he travelled across the country, living with different people, camping out when he didn’t have a place to stay, working short jobs for food money, hitchiking, etc. It’s a rough life style but it’s possible. I plan to travel as far and throughout as possible with only the bare essentials and such. My dad did this in the 60s: he was a traveling hippy and hitchhiked around the world and experienced everything. From time to time, he’d stop and have a job picking apples or selling pottery in NZ and things like that. He went through Asia, the middle east, tibet, europe, new zealand, etc.
I want to rely on money as little as possible but it is necessary. So as long as you are comfortable living without many possessions, getting dirty, and conflicting with authorities, you should be fine. I understand most people think it’s irrational or romanticized, and it may be, but that’s not gonna stop me from trying it. If you have the right mindset, and the passion and ambition for adventure, you can do anything man. Go for it! Best of luck

lindsay michele (0) (@lindsaybarclay) 8 years, 2 months ago ago

@mistersinister you will be surprised how the universe works with you in the most unusual ways when you step into the unknown and follow your heart. I began consistent travel a few years ago. While I started with a lot more money than you did, I have learnt how to do it much cheaper. Couchsurfing will get you places but you need proper internet and phone sometimes to get things coordinated if youre going to be relying on it. It can end up being alot of work. Hostels in europe are not as cheap as you may think but they are a good option if you need it. So your best option is work exchange and small gigs. and are awesome websites for this. As far as hitching. I’ve met MANY a vagabond who have successfully hitched their way across countries in Europe. Its still very possible. Its the only place where it still is very possible. Its not so common in the US or Australia and in asia and south america? meh I wouldnt do it. There is also rideshare. Criagslist offer this through out the world, in Australia theres gumtree. Seems like each country has their own version of criagslist and then you may pick up some extra work somewhere. Fruit picking in Canada and Australia is a great way to earn cash for a travel lifestyle. In europe, at least in barcelona maybe travelers hustled on the street getting tourists to buy tickets for some parties.

Bottom line… just get out and do it, but to start you’ll need double what you have. It should take you too long to save that. Choose a place, buy the ticket, give yourself some time and just go. You wont regret it.

lindsay michele (0) (@lindsaybarclay) 8 years, 2 months ago ago

@mistersinister also, definitely consider asia… ohh sweet asia. Its magic. As is Europe, but you can live well on 10-15 bucks a day, more if you like to party. When you get SUPER low on money, you can try to teach English. If you get really stuck, go to china for 6 months and teach English. Seems like theyll take anyone and they pay pretty well. So far I find India to be the cheapest country in the world. bon voyage!

Mister Sinister (7) (@MisterSinister) 8 years, 2 months ago ago

@ozeba2u, Yeah I’ve checked out WWOOF and I’ll definately stop at some of their spots! I’ll keep the be-weirder-than-the-weirdos-trick in mind as well. :)

, I did not understand that haha.

, Nope, not really. But I also don’t want to head into to an adventure that’ll be cut short by my lack of information. It’s good to be prepared!

, Thanks for the tip, looks interesting!

, It’s the same here holmes. I read the book and saw the movie a couple of years ago. Inspiring to say the least, although I’d been thinking about it for some time before too. It’s the idea of total independence, all the possible experiences and the sheer freedom to do literally whatever the fuck you want to that’s so romantic.

, Thanks! This was kind of exactly what I was looking for. Someone who’s done this and have got some valuable inside info to share. So thanks a bunch! I’ve thought about going further, like Asia and all that, but it seems like a wee bit too much to go for right now. Going around Europe feels like a good way to start, to kind of dip my feet so I’ll know what to expect before heading out to places where I won’t be able to communicate as well as in Europe.

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